Wednesday, March 12, 2008

September elections Heating Up on the Left

The September 13Council elections are starting to warm up as the various political parties test their candidates. Over on the extreme left Meredith Bergmann the extreme left wing ALP trade union backed retired MLC has set her ambitions on Town Hall and unseating equally left wing Clover Moore. Moore confirming today that she is recontesting the Lord Mayoralty for her registered 'Independent' political party. That leaves plenty of space for mainstream centrist candidates and Councillor tickets seeking some balance at Town Hall.

From today's Australian and check out ABC702 this morning.

Sydney's battle of female warriors

Salusinszky, NSW political reporter March 12, 2008
TWO of Sydney's most formidable women are heading for a showdown, with Meredith Burgmann set to challenge Clover Moore for the role of the city's lord mayor.
Dr Burgmann, a former state Labor MP and NSW upper house president, confirmed yesterday she was on the verge of throwing down the gauntlet to Ms Moore.
"I'll have to make up my mind in the next month or so, and if I did run it would be because I am still very angry that Clover Moore thinks it's a part-time job," Dr Burgmann, who retired from parliament last year, told The Australian.
Along with holding the mayoral position since 2004, Ms Moore, an independent MP, has represented the inner-city electorate of Sydney in state parliament since 1988.
Ms Moore, who has previously been guarded about her intentions, confirmed yesterday she would seek a second term as head of Australia's third-largest municipality when the election is held on September 13.
Labor, which has not had a lord mayor since the 1980s, will select its candidate at its NSW conference during the first weekend in May.
A battle between Ms Moore, 62, and Dr Burgmann, 60, would make for one of the most gripping municipal contests in memory. The two women, both forceful, are not on good terms.
With her signature black choker and spiky hair, Ms Moore is an icon in the gay community - which constitutes a powerful voting bloc in inner Sydney - and has had a float devoted to her at the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. But Labor's Dr Burgmann is equally an icon of the inner-city Left. She is better credentialled as a feminist than Ms Moore, and is the guiding spirit behind the annual Ernie Awards, which recognise outstanding examples of sexism in the media.
Yesterday, Dr Burgmann revealed a potential electoral wedge against her opponent.
"If you actually look at the voting, it's quite clear the more socially disadvantaged areas just don't vote for her," Dr Burgmann said.
"The traditional Labor areas still vote very strongly for us. "Our really strong vote is in the housing commission areas and around Redfern and that whole south Sydney area." Dr Burgmann has long argued there is a conflict between Ms Moore's twin roles as an MP and Lord Mayor. "If she's special pleading for the one-third of the City of Sydney, which she also represents as an MP, then the other two-thirds have got to feel left out - and that's a conflict of interest," she said. Though ridiculed for such foibles as her affection for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, Dr Burgmann was widely regarded as a successful leader of the Legislative Council.
Ms Moore's term in charge of the City of Sydney Council has been tumultuous. While the three Labor, one Liberal and one Green councillor have frequently united against her, she has been able to rely on the support of the four independents.
Dr Burgmann said she would consult her "Left comrades" before making a final decision.

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